UCI Track Cycling Champions League launch in Mallorca

A new era for track cycling begins this weekend with the first round of the inaugural UCI Track Champions League in the Velòdrom Illes Balears in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Featuring the cream of track cycling and a new dynamic short racing format, this modern show of must-see competitions will be broadcast to fans worldwide.

“So many Olympic and UCI World Champions in one velodrome at the same time is a guarantee of an amazing show,” said UCI President David Lappartient. “Together with Discovery Sports Events, we are staging an unprecedented event that will delight the athletes and the fans with back-to-back action through November and December.”

Star-studded line-up

The starters have been confirmed, with the best performers at the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships (held in Roubaix at the end of October) joining a prestigious list of pre-qualified riders. Between them, they have collected 63 rainbow jerseys as track cycling UCI World Champions. That means a striking number of stars lining up for five special nights of racing being held between this Saturday, 6 November, and Saturday 11 December.

Among the most decorated riders taking to the boards in Mallorca, British icon Katie Archibald is coming off stellar performances at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships: she claimed four medals in Roubaix, including gold in the Omnium. She’s already triumphed in the Olympic Games, the former UCI Track Cycling World Cup, as well as the Commonwealth Games and the European and British Championships.

With a new opportunity to shine in the UCI Track Champions League the 27-year-old expressed her excitement: “It will provide a chance to test myself against the best of the best and to travel and race all over Europe – I can’t wait!”

Other stars of the 2021 UCI Track World Championships are ready to battle in Mallorca, including the Oranje sprinters Harrie Lavreysen (3 gold medals in Roubaix) and Jeffrey Hoogland (2), their legendary compatriot Kirsten Wild (1) and the German super-fast women Lea Sophie Friedrich (3) and Emma Hinze (2). Lavreysen and Hoogland also won gold medals this summer in the Olympic Games and they’re joined in Mallorca by women Olympic Champions: Shanne Braspennincx (NED) in the keirin, and Kelsey Mitchell (CAN) in the sprint.

The 72 participants are evenly split between endurance and sprint specialists, and between males and females (18 female sprinters and as many male sprinters, same for endurance). They will all battle for equal prize money.

From Mallorca in Spain to Tel Aviv in Israel

The opening round will set the standards for the UCI Track Champions League. Four more events will be held, culminating in the final round in Tel Aviv (Israel) in December. All will follow the same format to crown overall winners in the sprint and in the endurance.

“It will be easy to understand, spectacular to watch and accessible to fans worldwide”, explains the UCI’s Head of Track, Gilles Peruzzi. “With the very best riders in the world, all of whom had to qualify to compete, we are guaranteed excitement, tension and emotion in each host velodrome.”

In every round, the sprinters will battle it out in the keirin and in the individual sprint. In the keirin, the best two riders in each of the three heats will have a shot at victory in the final. In the sprint, there will be six heats with three riders. The winners qualify for the semi-final, each of which are also raced with three riders, ahead of the final which is a head-to-head.

The endurance specialists will race two thrillers: a 20-lap Scratch Race and the 36-lap elimination.

Action will be broadcast around the world with the participation of Discovery Sports Events, including their channels Eurosport and Global Cycling Network, as well as other major broadcasters across the world.